You lose a small percentage of all units and most resources every watch- but so does everybody else. This is called “attrition”. The only thing you can do is always be building more! Starcruisers and starfrigates have relatively low attrition. Hexacarbide doesn't undergo attrition. Very small fleets may not lose a unit every turn, but they will still eventually vanish. Attrition isn't affected by whether a unit is stationed on a world or is part of a fleet.
New players typically start with only jumpships, which can only navigate to planets within 250 LY of a friendly jump beacon world (the capital has a jump beacon). Starships and ramjets, built on designated yards planets, do not require beacons to navigate; if jumpships are in a fleet with either of these ship types, the fleet will move at the slower ships' speed and will not require a beacon. Planets with the jumpship yards designation get a beacon, so designating one near the edge of your existing beacon coverage will expand the area within which your jumpship fleets can operate
Sector capitals must be more than 250 LY from any of your existing capitals. Jumpfleets can't go further than 250 LY away from a jump beacon world, so you can't start a new capital using jumpfleets if your only jump beacon is on your capital. Designate a world near the edge of your capital's range as a jumpship yards; this will expand the area in which your jumpfleets can operate. You could instead attach some transports and infantry to a gunship fleet and send it off to conquer a distant world, since gunships don't require beacons to move and jumpships can travel beyond beacon range if they are in a fleet with starships or ramjets. Sector capitals have jump beacons under the default Fire & Movement doctrine, but not other doctrines.
It takes 24 cycles after a sector capital is designated before it actually begins to project influence in a 250 LY radius. Planets outside the influence zone of a capital can't be given orders (you can deploy or remove fleets and infantry, and planets TL 5 or higher can be designated as a sector capital, but that's it.) You can track the progress from the overview tab; you'll see a little clock that shows you how long until the capital will start operating. Sector capitals do start building special units immediately after they get designated.
If you built tech programs to increase your capital to TL 9 or higher, most or all of the ship classes that your capital can build will require the chronimium resource. You don't have chronimium deposits on your starting capital world, but you also can't build low-tech ships if the capital's TL is high. Import chronimium from a world that you have designated as a chronimium processor. A world must be TL 7 or higher to refine chronimium. Alternately, destroy the quantum or post-industrial structure on your capital.
If you didn't increase your capital's TL, it might be because you changed your empire's doctrine. Strength & Honor doesn't build transports on the capital; Law & Order only builds special infantry; Trade & Enterprise only builds basic infantry. Change your doctrine back to Fire & Movement and don't even think about the other doctrines until you have a couple dozen worlds.
Most units require one or more types of components. Components are manufactured resources with names like “light jumpdrive” or “armored vehicle”. Your capital can build ship components at the Fleet HQ structure, but yards and infantry academies cannot and must have a trade route that is importing from an appropriate component autofac planet (or from a trade hub that is importing from a component autofac). A jumpship yards won't build anything except explorers unless it has a trade route, even if you drop a million jumpdrives onto the yards using transports.
Keep an eye on yards as they increase in tech - they automatically dedicate a percentage of their labor to new unit types as they become available, even if you don't want to build new types. Manually adjust your manufacturing mix to get the units you want; do not let the game pick for you. If a planet's primary structure can't get the components and resources that it needs, the labor allocated to building units will default to the simplest unit class that it can build (usually a gunship, explorer, or basic infantry). If you can't get the resources that you need for even that, all the labor is wasted!
Yards can always build gunships or explorers as long as they have they have deposits of the necessary raw materials - these units do not require components. Basic infantry do not require resources to build, so academies and citadels can always build these units. All other units require components that are built at dedicated component autofac planets.
Unlike yards, autofacs can still build low-TL components even at TL 10. This is true for every kind of autofac. Jumpship autofacs' light jumpdrives are also used by citadels to build jumpmissiles; starship autofacs' heavy missile launchers are also used to build battlestation planetary defense units on planets that have completed a battlestation program. Keep these additional component uses in mind when locating your autofac worlds, citadels, etc.
Also unlike yards, autofacs will automatically adjust their component production to meet demand.
When a planet's labor is divided between multiple structures, the total labor available to all structures decreases. You can see this by manually changing the labor assigned to a defensive structure from 5% to 10% and reducing the labor assigned to a different defensive structure from 5% to 0%. After a few minutes, more than twice as many defensive units will be getting built at the structure with 10% labor, and the absolute amount of WUs being used by the structure will be more than twice as much as it was using when you were building two types of defenses.
A planet's labor pool is not a fixed quantity; the fewer things your planet is doing, the more labor will be available in total. This is why it makes sense to import resources from designated resource planets rather than have every world extract its own resources. It usually doesn't make sense to build small amounts of multiple kinds of defenses. Instead, focus on only building one or two complementary typess- or don't build any, and rely entirely on ships for defense.
All defenses except GDMs use hexacarbide, and advanced defenses (armored satellites, plasma towers, battlestations) use chronimium too. If your planet doesn't have deposits of these or a trade route to a designated resource planet, you will only be able build GDMs for defense. You can assign labor to other defenses but they won't get built; the labor will all be wasted. If your world isn't importing raw materials, it will have to dedicate labor to extracting them, which will once again have a disproportionately negative impact on your planet's primary industry.
By default, worlds try to go up to the same level as the foundation. It's not a good idea to raise a world's tech level too fast, so click on the trade route once you've established it and change it to the desired tech level.
Check the primary structure on your foundation to make sure it's producing enough tech levels to supply all the planets. If it isn't, free up labor by either reducing defense structure allocations, building habitat structures, or importing more resources. If there is still not enough labor on the foundation, you need to wait for its efficiency, population, or tech level to increase.
Foundations aren't normally able to uplift the imperial capital. They can't uplift above the capital's TL, even if they are naturally of higher TL.
You'll usually have the opposite problem; your foundations will produce a bunch of extra TLs that aren't needed by surrounding worlds. Allocate labor to defenses until you're only generating a small surplus of tech. Remember: if an enemy captures your foundation, all the worlds it supports will slowly revert to their original TLs, the TL of the highest project on them, or TL 5: whatever is highest. Autonomous-designated worlds revert to their fated TL even if it's lower than TL5.
Try bringing a couple thousand units of trillum with you when you conquer a world, or don't redesignate it immediately.
Populations require consumer goods: organic food, durable goods for planets at or above TL4, and luxuries for planets at or above TL 7. Independent worlds don't stockpile many consumer goods; when you conquer a world, total efficiency drops and structures operate at reduced capacity for a couple of watches. Structures operating at reduced capacity will have small white % numbers below and to the left of the larger labor allocation percentages on their boxes. If you immediately redesignate a captured world, efficiency and operating capacities will drop even more.
If the planet's consumer goods autofac structure can't produce enough goods for a few turns, people will experience shortages of durable goods and luxuries; millions will die if there's an organic food shortage. You can import consumer goods through trade routes, but it will take a couple of minutes after assignment before a trade route works at full capacity. Consumer goods shortages hurt social order every turn they occur; bigger shortages have worse effects. TL may also drop to compensate - the population on lower-tech worlds require fewer consumer goods per person. Efficiency takes a hit when people die. Shortages are most likely on worlds with trace trillum deposits, since the world has to allocate a lot more of the available labor to mining trillum needed to run the consumer goods autofac.
You're probably experiencing a trillum shortage; your world isn't producing or importing enough trillum to run both the consumer goods autofac and the habitat structure that produces the needed life support goods. Life support good (air filters, life support supplies, radiation shielding and radiation meds) mostly require trillum and can't be exchanged with trade routes. Import trillum with a trade route; if this isn't possible, drop some off with transports as a stopgap. Stop building defenses- they all consume trillum. (The planet will try to do this on its own, but sometimes won't pull enough labor away from the structures).
This can also happen at times when recently-conquered worlds are increasing in TL and/or population; they seem to produce barely enough survival goods to get by and even slight population increases put them over the edge.
You can also use transports to move goods from stockpiles on worlds of the same type to the world experiencing the shortfall; don't take too many!
Citadels use light jumpdrives to build jumpmissiles. You need a trade route importing from a jumpship components autofac or from a trade hub that is importing from a jumpship components autofac. The citadel must be TL7 or higher to build jumpmissiles.
One infantry autofac can supply all the armored vehicles needed for one infantry academy building armored infantry. If the same academy is assigned to build nothing but exotroops, you'll need three or four infantry autofac planets in order to supply enough exoarmor (and you'll also need chronimium.) Unless your empire is enormous, you'd probably prefer to not need to dedicate this many planets to infantry production.
Exotroops are a little weaker than their stats make them appear because other infantry types are less willing to surrender against them. This prolongs fights involving exotroops and results in fewer enemy units captured. I think this is because a small force of exotroops inflicts fewer casualties per individual combat round than a larger force of infantry of the same strength (however, the exotroops also take fewer casualties since they're so well armored). Groups of more than 150 or so exotroops seem to be nearly immune to basic infantry and always beat them without taking any losses in my tests. Exotroops do have lower attrition than other infantry; they are nice to have if you can afford to build them.
Trade routes only import resources produced by the primary (designation-defined) structure on a planet. Trillum extractors only export trillum, starship component autofacs only export starship components, etc. Yards, citadels, sector capitals and academies don't export anything (exception: under the Trade & Industry doctrine, your capital and sector capitals will turn into trade hubs). If you redesignated a world and have a huge stockpile of resources just sitting on it, you can use transports to move them to a world that can use them.
Planets that have a large stockpile of a resource will draw from the stockpile before importing.
If your trade route is from a supplying planet and to a hub, you may be experiencing a bug. Trade hubs sometimes won't import or export trillum properly if they're being supplied by only one extractor. Connecting a second trillum extractor resolves the problem. This may also happen with luxury goods and jumpship components.
All worlds in your empire <TL5 will increase in TL to TL5 (spacefaring) - but only after they have been given a designation. You may want to give a newly-conquered world a designation that requires a higher TL than the planet has. In this case, you will have to designate it as something else (consumer goods autofac is a safe choice) until it reaches TL5. It will suffer a temporary efficiency hit every time you give it a new designation, though. Alternately, you can leave the world as an autonomous world and import tech levels from a foundation if you have one within 100 LY.
To import resources from a world, you need to build a spaceport on it. You want spaceports on every world, since they increase import/export range with no downside. Starports can be built at TL5 and are completed in about 5 minutes. Trade hubs include the “starport” structure. Starports have the same functionality as a spaceport but they are built instantaneously and allow the world to export goods that it imports from other worlds, extending and simplifying trade networks.
Starship fleets can't pass through nebulas, ramjet fleets can't leave nebulas. Ramjet fleets sometimes can't pass between light and dark nebulas, but it's hard to predict. If there's no straight path to a target, the game's pathfinding algorithm will consider a few alternate paths and then give up, even if a complicated path exists that could get your ships where you want them to go. When this happens, you may have to send your fleets to a closer world and then redirect them from there. Fleets can path through unexplored space to a known target UNLESS the unexplored space contains rift zones; unexplored space containing a rift zone is usually impassable until it has been mapped. Rift zones interfere with fleet pathing but are not an absolute barrier. Jumpship fleets are much better at finding paths through rift zones than ramjet fleets.
As of Era 3, Ramjets are bugged and can rarely move.
I believe that the new capital will be the established sector capital (with a completed administration structure projecting influence) that has the highest space forces AND is TL7, TL8, or TL9 AND is connected to at least one trade route. If no sector capital meets all these criteria, another sector capital (such as one that is still building the administration structure or one that has a TL that is too high or low) will be selected. I don't know which criterion is most important.
If you start in Era 4 Alpha you will be exposed to new and undocumented features, but I recommend starting there anyway. If you only see one or two game links when you log in to Multiverse, reload anacreon.kronosaur.com in your browser window, or click “Start a New Game” (This does not actually start a new game, but instead shows all available games.)
Probably not. Anacreon loads on some mobile devices, but the interface is crowded on small screens and the game doesn't recognize normal touchscreen commands like pinching to zoom. A big tablet might work. It will be harder to move fleets around without right-clicking, but you can use the “destination” button. The game might run slowly on devices that don't have a lot of RAM or slow processors.
The server refreshes the game universe every minute. During this period, commands aren't acknowledged immediately. Just keep trying to enter your command until the game accepts it. There is also sometimes a slight delay before changes to trade route designations and fleet travel paths show up on screen.
The button in the upper-left-hand corner creates a high-resolution image of the galactic map, but it only works properly in some browsers. It takes a couple seconds and will cause problems for slower computers. It may work in Chrome, creating a popup which is usually autoblocked but can be seen by clicking “allow” in the upper-right-hand corner of the browser. It does not seem to work in Firefox or Internet Explorer (Thanks to Wayward Device for explaining how this works).
The game client crashing when zooming on a moving fleet is a known bug. It should rarely be a problem in normal play since there's no reason to zoom in on a moving fleet.
Although many ships, weapons and resources have the same names, Anacreon is not set in the Transcendence universe.